Soccer draws No. 1 Stanford in second round of Women’s College Cup

Posted on Nov 16 2018 - 5:50am by Flint Christian

The Ole Miss women’s soccer team will face off against the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal in the second round of the Women’s College Cup on Friday in Palo Alto, California. The game will be the first ever meeting on the pitch between the two schools.


The Rebels (13-7-1) are coming off a 2-1 victory over No. 25 Clemson in the first round last Saturday, where they regained momentum after allowing an equalizer early in the second half. Mary Kate Smith and Grace Johnson each scored in the match, notching their second goal and first goal of the season, respectively. The duo displayed the importance of stepping up in meaningful, high-pressure moments. Hopefully the momentum will carry over to a tough showdown in Palo Alto.


“It’s an exciting game for us to out and compete against the best,” head coach Matt Mott said earlier in the week. “When you’re at this stage, you’re going to play good teams.”


Stanford (18-0-2) has been nearly unstoppable this season. The Cardinal are currently on a 42-game unbeaten streak where they have outscored opponents 134-15. The streak also includes last year’s National Championship. They won their opening round of the NCAA tournament 3-0 over Seattle University in their third straight season as the No. 1 overall seed. Stanford’s roster also contains the Pac-12 Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year and Forward of the Year along with 10 All-Pac-12 players.


“I think our team really needs to go out and focus on the first 15 minutes of the game,” Mott said. “So, just getting ourselves into the game and comfortable. I think if the score is zero to zero or we are up a goal in the first 15 minutes, we will be in a really good spot.”


While Stanford’s talent, skill, and resume might seem overwhelming, Ole Miss has the ability to pull off the upset. Their demeanor in the face of a tough draw inspires more confidence going forward, and the Rebels’ performance against other talented teams this season suggests a shot to be competitive on Friday. Against the other SEC teams still playing in the NCAA tournament, the Rebels were 2-2-1 in the regular season, highlighted by a win over SEC Champion Vanderbilt in the final game of the regular season.


The Rebels will be forced to lean on First Team All-SEC forward/midfielder CeCe Kizer, who led the conference with 13 goals and nine assists on the year. The senior showed she is still in excellent form with her setup and assist on the first goal of the Clemson game, and with the help of Second Team All-SEC sophomore Channing Foster and SEC All-Freshman midfielder Haleigh Stackpole, Ole Miss will be looking to prove it can play at Stanford’s elite level.


Ole Miss has averaged 2.05 goals per game and allowed an average of 1.33 goals per game this season. Stanford, on the other hand, has notched 2.70 goals per game while only giving up 0.45 goals per game. Stanford has also averaged 23.1 shots per game and has converted 11.7 percent of those shots, while Ole Miss has averaged 14.6 shots per game and has converted an impressive 14.1 percent of them.